O impacto psicológico do Brexit

por Peter Thal Larsen (texto em inglês)
Jun 2016

A vitória do voto pelo Brexit terá consequências políticas e econômicas. Por um lado, fortalecerá os partidos de extrema direita na Europa, como Marine Le Pen, que poderá ser eleita presidente da França em 2017... é o prenúncio de um perigoso ciclo extremista. Por outro, um dólar fortalecido deverá ter efeitos econômicos em todo o planeta.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is an unwelcome blow to an already-fragile world economy. The real impact, however, is psychological. Companies and investors now have to reconsider other once-unthinkable risks.

Most of the economic costs of untangling four decades of integration will fall on Britain. Still, this is a shock the rest of the world did not need. Morgan Stanley economists estimate that the decision to exit, known as Brexit, could knock 0.3 percentage points off global growth in 2017. A soaring dollar puts renewed strain on emerging-market borrowers whose debts are denominated in the American currency — and may prompt the Federal Reserve to delay its next increase in interest rates. The Japanese yen also rose, undermining the economic revival plans of Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe.

Despite the gyrations, though, it would be surprising if the departure led to financial calamity. After the truly global crisis of 2008, central banks have swap lines and other tools to minimize market disruptions. Should action be necessary, policy makers convening in the Swiss town of Basel this weekend are well placed to coordinate it.

The lasting damage may be to old ways of thinking. Until a few weeks ago, it seemed hard to believe that the majority of voters in Britain would overrule the country’s political and financial establishment. The repercussions of that decision will affect trade and capital flows as companies and investors rethink Britain’s long-term stability.

The reverberations will be felt elsewhere, too. The decision to leave will embolden populist parties across Europe, raising other previously ignored fears. Marine Le Pen’s chance of winning the French presidency next year, for example, suddenly seems less remote. A victory for the far right in France would, in turn, have profound consequences for the future of the European Union and the single currency.

Then there’s Donald Trump. According to the online gambling site Betfair, the presumptive Republican nominee has a less than 25 percent chance of winning the presidential election in November. But those are about the odds that the same site attached to a “Leave” vote in Britain’s referendum a few days ago. Britain’s upheaval is a reminder that other shocks are also possible.

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